Holmgren: QB Decision Beckons

From Indianapolis, Fred Greetham reports on Mike Holmgren's comments to the media. Holmgren once again found himself focusing on the team's quarterback situation as the key decision needing to be made...

INDIANAPOLIS—The Big Show officially returned to the national spotlight at the NFL Combine. Holmgren addressed a number of issues, but none more pre-eminent than what would the Browns do at quarterback.

Holmgren spoke for over 30 minutes between time at the podium and to the mostly-Cleveland media afterwards.

"We have to make a final decision on the quarterback," Holmgren said. "That is a huge decision. I think it is the most important decision on a football team."

Holmgren called it a ‘long shot' that both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn would be back for 2010. Anderson is due a roster bonus of around $2 million on March 19. Holmgren indicated the Browns would explore trades and free agency in considering their options starting March 5.

Holmgren said Anderson's roster bonus will force the Browns hand.

"There are reasons there are bonuses in contracts like that," he said. "That deadline for the roster bonus will help us to make a decision. I wish it wasn't there, but it is, so we have to make a decision."

Holmgren said the team will explore all possibilities.

"All that stuff," he said. "But, we need to make sure we're doing the right thing."

That gives the Browns roughly two weeks once the NFL year starts on March 5 to see what their options are.

Holmgren said his criteria for evaluating quarterbacks is two full seasons or 32 regular season games.

"Neither player (Anderson or Quinn) have played enough to reach my criteria," he said. "That's with the same system, the same coaching.

"(The quarterback) has to believe the team has his back and he has to have confidence."

Holmgren re-iterated that he doesn't think there will be a quarterback competition in training camp.

"We already tried that and it didn't work."

Holmgren said he will bring in the ‘new' guys, including himself and adviser Gil Haskell, along with general manager Tom Heckert and compare their notes with the ‘old' guys, including Eric Mangini and his coaching staff and come to a conclusion.

"I value their opinion and I think I can be objective, as well."

Holmgren said he has met with Quinn, but has not had the chance to meet with Anderson.

"If possible, I'd like to meet with the guys," he said. "We've got to make a decision pretty quickly."

Whether the quarterback for 2010 is Quinn , Anderson, on another team or at the NFL Combine, one thing is certain.

"We have to upgrade the play of our quarterback in order to compete."

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